What Size Bike should i ride ?

This is a question i see and hear loads on the cycling forums that i frequent and to people who interested in cycling that i talk to.

Well over the last few weeks i have mainly been using the 22″ or 56cm Hardisty for my leisure rides


And my commuting has been done on my Soens which is also a 56cm sized frame


And then last week i was doing test miles on the 54CM Swinnerton


Well this morning i got up nice and early and bashed out 16 miles on my 60cm sized Ian May
My 2nd Ian May

And the strange think about all these bikes i felt comfortable enough to ride up to an hour without any problems .

So at 5ft 10″ and a 31″ inside leg what size bike should i ride

14 years

It will be 14 years ago tomorrow that my daughter was born

i can still remember the moment the nurse passed me a little bundle and said say hello to your daughter

i can still remember a lot of other things that have happened between then and now

i can still remember the people who have helped me through those 14 years and to them i say a big thank you

i can still remember the people who have made some of those 14 years very hard and continue to even know

but hey i have a daughter who means the world to me and hopefully she nows that

happy birthday darling


What is a new Bike

So is a bike new only when you ride it away from the cycle shop for the first time or is as mostly in my case , its when i open the box a bike i have purchased has arrived in ?

I can remember saying to somebody at work a while back i had a ” new” bike later that same day he saw me walk out the building pushing it , and he said to me that doesnt look new to me more like second hand !

Well late last week i had a “new” bike arrive just about in a box . Its multi coloured and is from the 80’s , a Swinnerton with 531 main tubes paintwork is scruffy and has some rust patches . wheels are ex raleigh sprint black alloy rims and hubs good michelin treaded tyres , wheels bearing were done when i got the wheels and since then as part of rebuild i have just done headset brgs and all the cables again . it has a standover hieght of 31″ and the frame is 20 3/4″ from centre of crank to centre of pinch bolt and 21 1/2 ” along the top tube and has a 120mm stem with 170mm cranks 12 gears .


Ian May Cycles

I own 2 Ian May badged bikes , both are far from normal in many respects .

The first and main difference is the shape and profile of all the main tubing , it almost looks if somebody has taken normal round tubes and just gently squeezed them in a vice , but i am sure it wasnt that easy .

Then another difference between Ian May bikes and most of the others i have owned , is the shear lack of information there is about Ian May , yes we know he ran his own business in the 80’s , but very little else is .

We are unsure who made the frames his name is attached to , the 2 i have look very similar to a couple of Simoncini’s i have seen photos of , and Emanuel Ferretti of Simoncini and Revanche also thinks they could have been made by them but cant be certain .

What ever they are 2 very nice bikes to ride and ownMy First Ian MayIan May headbadge

My 2nd Ian May

How Many Lives ?

As we all know a cat is meant to have 9 lives according to superstition .

Well I think many bikes can get close to that as well

The W Pollard Speciallite in my collection has had a few that I know about in its lifetime

The story I was told by the seller I got it from was that there father had built it from an old frame and forks he had lying around for a female relative to use in a local triathlon , which I understand went well . It was then put back in the shed for a few years when once again it was dragged out of hibernation again for some triathlon action , once this 2 nd triathlon was done away in to the shed it went for what I was told 10+ years which is when I got it .

It came to me with a mixture of thumbshifters and Shimano 105 mechanisms that controlled the 14 speed gear system , I was dubious about it all to start with but my confidence grew as I rode it . It eventually became by far the nicest bike to ride in my collection .

But there was always a niggling thought that if she who you don’t want to visit did visit getting the rear wheel in & out would be a pain in the backside due to it having rearward facing dropouts .

So earlier in the year it was taken off the road to be converted back to single speed , which has just been completed .As can be seen in the picture its by no means finished , it has had a 1.5 mile shakedown ride which went well . It runs the inner 46 tooth ring up front and a 16 tooth freewheel on the rear .

It tips the scales at just around the 8.5kg which is not bad for an old steelie , please keep a look out for more updates as time goes by

Geared Pollard

Single speed Pollard

My Riding

I re started cycling about 7 years ago mainly because it seemed such a waste to use a car for my daily commute of 1.5 miles four times a day

Those days my riding consisted purely of back and forwards to work and the occasional test ride around the block , if these were done in the dark it was done mainly using the small cheap bike lights from the likes of Pound shop , Wilkinsons and Tesco’s .

Over the years my choice of lights has got better , for a while I purely used some 3w Cree torches from Tesco’s which were OK but just lacked enough left to right beam spread . And again my riding was mainly commutes and test rides .

Earlier in the year I decided to increase my riding time by getting out early in the morning before going to work if it was a work day . My first rides were short 6 mile loops these have grown now to 22 mile loops with a couple of nice hills included , I am trying to build my miles up slowly but surely .

On average I am up to 60 miles a week which I know is not a lot but it all adds up .

My present choice of Lights are either a Cateye HL350 or Smart Lunar 35 Lux up front and a Smart 1/2 Watt lamp behind , the Tesco 3w Cree torches still get used to supplement the previously mentioned front lights .

Neither are the brightest lights about but they both work well together


Time Travel

Years ago when i first started driving i loved the blue oval badge of Ford and owned several Mk 1 & Mk 2 Escorts from the humble 1300 GT to an original droop snoot RS2000 as i grew up my tastes evolved and owned a couple of Sierra 4 x 4 ‘s which were great cars for covering miles in no matter what conditions nature threw at you on the way .

Eventually my employment in the motor trade introduced me to the delights of Honda’s and Toyota’s along with there legendary reliability . I owned an original CRX V-tec that would scream all the way round the rev counter to 8000 rpm in all but top gear and still returned 30 mpg on average . The Toyota Corolla Gxi was another enjoyable drive that i owned fresh from the dealership where i worked to the day several months later when it was sold so i could use the funds as a deposit on my first house .

I was lucky enough to be entitled to a company vehicle that would range from a Toyota Starlet to a 3.0 v6 Camry estate and many other models in between , i dread to think how many miles were covered in these fine cars .

As years past so did my jobs eventually i ended up for my sins working at an Alfa Romeo – Fiat franchise , boy oh boy they were bad cars , the first Alfa i drove lasted less than half a mile before a warning light came on ! Needless to say i didnt stay there long in fact about 6 months .

So my point is we now own a Ford C Max and over night for whatever reason the time and date display had lost 14 months !